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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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The Battle of Dalheim,1758

The Seven Years War, Post of Honour, 28mm

With just two of us this week, and as we both live near each other, a half hour’s drive from the wargame club, we decided to stage a game at my place. When asked, Sean 2 opted for the Seven Years War, as he hadn’t gamed that before. So, I set up a small game with two equal forces. Both the French and the Western Allies had eight units – five infantry battalions,  two cavalry regiments, a light infantry battalion and a gun battery, deployed at the start facing each other around a small village near Lutterberg.When asked, Sean 2 opted for the Allies. The rules are delightfully simple, so everyone was rated as regular, apart from the British grenadiers and one of my two Swiss battalions, which were “superior”. The other British infantry battalion was regular, but fired as if they were “superior”. That sorted, we rolled the dice and kicked off the game, played on a homely 6×4 foot table. We were both fairly aggressive, advancing towards the enemy all along the front, with me even manhandling my guns to keep up. Sean 2 got into the village first, and occupied it with a battalion of Hanovarians. they spent the rest of the game shooting fairly ineffectively at any Frenchmen who came close. Inevitably though, the cavalry clash came within the first few turns, as I charged the Prussian black hussars with my own Chabrillant regiment of line cavalry. the French though, were forced to retreat. That in turn exposed my supporting unit of light infantry. The first time they were charged they managed to evade, but when the same thing happened on the next turn they had nowhere to run apart from off the table edge. Breaking with the tules we decided to let them try their luck at standing. They cause done hit on the Breidenbach Dragoons, but it wasn’t enough, and the Volontaires Étrangers de Clermont Prince were duly swept from the field. So far on his first SYW game, Sean 2 was having it all his own way! In the main infantry clash though, the Allies weren’t so lucky. He’d advanced into musket range first, letting me stand and fire without any negative modifier for moving and firing. So, although firing was simultaneous, the Allies suffered more casualties. It didn’t help that half of Sean 2’s British grenadiers were masked by the village. At the end of a brisk exchange, two Allied battalions were left worn, while the French were in slightly better shape. On the other side of the village the British 25th Foot had been fighting with the a battalion of the Swiss La Planta regiment, and held their ground until the second Swiss battalion got into action. Then the odds were stacked, and eventually the British unit broke and ran, having suffered 7 hits.  I’d suffered too though, and the Swiss spent the rest of the game recovering from their own hits. A gap then appeared in my line when I list my guns. I’d carelessly moved them too far forward, and although I routed a Hessian battalion using canister fire, they fell victim of the Hanovarian Freytag Jaegers, who kept scoring hits until my gunners fled. That means I’d lost three units – a cavalry one, a light one and my guns, while the Allies had lost two – infantry battalions.Inevitably, I thought I could turn the tide using my prized Bercheny Hussars. They charged their Prussian counterparts, and both sides were badly knocked around. They both fell back to recover, at which point the Prussians were routed when this caused an extra hit. My own battered hussars were then swept from the field by the remaining cavalry unit – the Hanovarian dragoons. We were now at the stage where both armies were fast running out of “oomph”. Most of our units were “worn”, and our generals were busily trying to rally off hits. My Swiss, pictured above, were now taking hits from the village, and pulled back slightly. Meanwhile in the main infantry fight we were both scoring hits on each other without anyone getting much of an edge. We were getting close to the time when Sean 2 had to leave to pick up his daughter. So, we played one more turn,  which paid off for me as I broke the British Grenadiers. They’d been unlucky in recovering from hits, while my Frenchmen had been firing well. Unfortunately so had the Hanovarians, and I lost my German battalion from the La Mark Regiment. So, the game ended in a clear Allied win – not bad for Sean’s first game in this lovely period. Let’s hope he’s been bitten by the tricorne-hatted bug, eh?




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